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What are some job options in environmental design or commercial design?

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John’s Answer

Hi Naomi,


ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGNERS – Graduates often pursue careers in urban planning and development. Many graduates with bachelor's degrees qualify for entry-level positions with local governments, working as assistant planners, community developers or associate environmental planners, for example. With experience or further education, graduates may work as city planners, architects or urban designers.

• Environmental Designer
• Lanscape Architect
• Urban Designer
• Environmental Planner
• City Planner

Additional career opportunities exist in historic preservation, environmental policy, public administration and real estate. Some environmental designers work in the area of conservation to protect ecologically sensitive lands that abut developed areas.

COMMERCIAL DESIGNERS – Commercial designers may work for design firms, manufacturing companies or corporations. Some designers are self-employed. They work to design a product according to the needs of clients, consumers and the application of the product. This may entail conducting market research or attending trade shows in order to gather information about the design needs. Most commercial designers specialize in the design of a specific category of products: toys, medical supplies, cars, or any product that is made by people.

• Industrial Designer
• Architectural Designer
• Industrial Engineer
• Interior Designer
• Graphic Designer

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Scott’s Answer

Environment Artist is usually a good starting point, especially if you have a good portfolio and website to help you get your foot in the door. Whomever you talk to will certainly check your LinkedIn profile, as well as click on any links that you provide to a website showcasing your work.

So as next steps, I would recommend putting together a website to show your work. There are plenty of free web builder applications out there such as wix.com or squarespace. Make a website, provide a way for anyone checking it out to contact you easily (by linking a contact button on your site to a free gmail account), and update your LinkedIn profile.

Then, start checking out game companies in your area to see if they are looking for Environment Artists. If you went to college and have a degree your life will be a little easier - in fact after finding a few places you'd like to go I would speak with a counselor at your school for help with first contact. You'll want a cover letter, resume, and example of your work (bonus points if your example is a good fit for the type of games the company you are looking at makes).

You will get to do more and move faster at a smaller company, but you will typically make less. This is a good trade off - early in your career you want to build up shipped titles to show that you understand a professional production environment. When you start looking at larger companies expect to take a step down in title at first, but you will have more opportunities to advance at a larger company.

For an example of what a company might be looking for, I've linked a job description for Environment Artist for Valkrye Entertainment in Seattle:


Good luck!

Scott recommends the following next steps:

Make a website
update LinkedIn profile
research game companies in your area